As we headed to Wisconsin, about all I knew about it was that it’s the dairy capital of the nation. However, we did not see one single dairy in our travels across the state, although we did see a lot of barns – most of them had a quilt square “sign” attached that I assume is like a family crest.

Granted we only crossed a small portion of the state and were only there a few days, but I was a little disappointed. I guess it’s like someone knowing nothing about California and going there expecting to see movie stars. There is much more to every state than the one or two notable things we associate it with as we’re learning US geography.

Now when I think of Wisconsin, I will think of rust. I think we saw more vehicles there with rusted out fenders than anywhere else we’ve been yet.

Note to self: don’t ever buy a vehicle from a state that salts their roads!

We randomly picked our next destination after finding out some Escapees friends had been right behind us through Michigan. (I might have known sooner if I were a better Face-booker.) In fact, we missed them by just a few hours in Sault Ste Marie. They were on their way to South Dakota, so we found a spot somewhat along their route and decided to wait for them to catch up.

We stayed at the Potawatomi Casino and got free electricity and a spacious site off of the parking lot. It was near the lovely small town of Wabeno, Wisconsin.

Notice how beautiful the woods are and how blue the skies – so pretty!
Who can’t love a town with ads like these! Too bad Tom never got a chance to try one.

On our way there, Tom and I discussed how we just needed to find somewhere to hold up for a while. We’d moved fairly quickly through Michigan thinking we needed to get to a job, but we still had not received any marching orders, and were beginning to think we may never get started in our new job. (Which I promise I will write about once we know what we’re doing.)

I felt like I just needed to “live” somewhere for a while. All the uncertainty was taking a toll on us, and even though I say I don’t like to plan in advance, I wanted to stay anchored until we could come up with a more “long-term” plan. And of course, as soon as we decided to stay put for a week, we get the call: Our first job will be in Minnesota in four days! Well, at least the uncertainty was over.

We were so excited the next day to have our friends Jan and Chuck arrive and camp with us. When you’re traveling and you haven’t connected with any real friends in a while it’s so fun to spend time with people you know. We had meals and happy hours and game nights together. It was wonderful.IMG_5123

But not all our time was spent together. (That would be overload!) So Tom and I spent one day at the Wabeno Annual Steam-Up Days that was going on that weekend.

It seems like we are alway a few days just before or just after the local events of the area, so we were happy to be around for this small town event, and enjoyed just walking around and people watching.

We really liked looking at the old autos and machinery and Tom got a kick out of watching the tractor pulls (especially the kids on riding lawn mowers).IMG_5082IMG_0921

I was fascinating with the lumber milling. I watched them take a trunk of tree and turn it into boards of lumber on equipment that was. . .well I don’t know how old, but it was not new. I also watched them mill roof shingles. I was amazed. We even got some scrap tree wood for the fairy houses.

We left a day after our friends. Now we have to shift gears back into work mode – quite a challenge when you’ve been on permanent vacation for over a year!

As we crossed back across the great Mississippi river it kind of felt good to be this far west again. We stopped at the Minnesota visitor’s center and they had a nice viewing area of the river which is much less muddy this far north.

Destination: Lower Minnesota at a KOA Campground along the interstate.

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy